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October 03, 2005

Web searching for kids

Today on the Internets

I'm writing a paper about KidsClick!, which bills itself as "web search for kids by librarians." I think it's an interesting idea, although not terribly well executed. It is bringing up some other questions in my mind, though...

Does a "search engine for kids" really help kids find the information they're looking for? Or does it hinder them because it searches such a limited set of sites? Or both, depending on the context? Or the kid? Does it end up functioning as a form of censorship, or is it just a study aid? Do kids actually use it? Parents, do you find such sites useful for your kids?

Posted by Kat at October 3, 2005 09:41 PM

I think it limits them, but in a good way kwim? It's all safe sites, when you use google you don't get only safe sites (even with the security on, some of them get through).

I've never seen it before but I just went and poked around a bit and I really like it. I learned about Shotgun houses. I never knew there was a treehouse guide site. And there is a cool site with kid songs from around the world, divided by continents. What a cool homeschool-tool when working on geography. Not something I would think to search for though. I am going to bookmark it/use it. When I really need to search for something, i'll stick to google though. Cause kidsclick doesn't have any sites on rock collecting up yet, and thats Jbears latest interest ;)

Posted by: aisling at October 4, 2005 07:08 AM

First off, KidsClick! seems like a terrible search engine. It doesn't look like it works very well. Secondly, I don't think I agree with the whole concept. Kids are smart enough to learn there way around a "real" search engine, and if properly supervised won't get into any trouble. The kid's gonna have to learn how to use google eventually anyway, might as well get them started now.

I think a lot of harm is done by underestimating children. Epecially when it comes to computing technology. Many adults are worse with computers than children are, but they figure if it's hard for them, it must be even harder for the kids.

Posted by: Aaron at October 4, 2005 05:58 PM

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